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A blend of Science and Urdu Literature

September 27, 2011

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Bazm-e-Sciency Adab happens to be the only literary society in Pakistan for the people who are equally interested in science and Urdu literature. – Photo by Suhail Yusuf / Dawn.com

KARACHI: The 193rd monthly sitting of Bazm-e-Sciency Adab was held at Salimuzzaman Siddiqui Science Center in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi on Saturday.

It happens to be the only society in Pakistan for people who are equally interested in science and literature.

Usually the sitting is arranged on the last Saturday of every month in which professionals from the fields of science present their current research. Interestingly, scientific poetry and haikus revolving around science are also delivered by the experts and students from science disciplines.

The meetings are arranged by the eminent science journalist and pioneer of Bazm-e-Sciency Adab, Azmat Ali Khan. Students from universities and other various institutes are also always encouraged to participate in this literary event.

The monthly session started with the recitation of Holy Quran by Shafi Haider Danish.

Shagufta Najam, an MA Urdu student at Jinnah University for Women spoke about a classical Urdu book “Science and Philosophy”, which was now a master piece of scientific literature in Urdu and had been compiled more than hundred years ago. The book depicts all branches of science in a very interesting and witty manner.

Basharat Ali Khan Bashar presented his poem on light.

Sidra Ghyas, a lecturer of mathematics in Jinnah University for Women in Karachi spoke about the historic incident of Greek Mathematician Archimedes who wrote 44 lines under the title of “Cattle of the Sun”. The poem was a reply to Apollonius who criticised his work on the multiplication of large numbers.

As a challenge, Archimedes wrote the problem in a poetic style in which he described four herds of bulls and cows. The problem remained unsolved until 1880 when it was finally solved by A. Amthor.

Eminent Science Journalist and the pioneer of Bazm, Azmat Ali Khan is sitting among the audience to hear the scientific-literary work of the participants. – Photo by Suhail Yusuf / Dawn.com

Badrudduja Khan, a former medical physicist delivered a detailed lecture about various aspect of dengue fever. He said that Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are the main careers of dengue fever.

He urged the people to investigate the mosquito habitat carefully as it is found in water from air conditions, gardens and potted plants and instructed them to spill water collected in their household objects. Khan said that Singapore had faced a serious challenge due to dengue fever but they managed and eliminated stagnant water throughout the country, which was now rid of this disease.

Later, Amna Alam narrated a beautiful Nazm – a genre of poetry – about the status and challenges facing Urdu language in Pakistan.

Sardar Ahmad Nazish – the Principal Information Officer at PCSIR – delivered his talk about the importance of science journalism.

Nazish told the audience that scientific achievements in labs should be presented to the masses and science journalism is the only way to convey the frontiers of research to a layman.

Environmental hazards, health challenges and the awareness of negative impacts of technology are few examples through which science journalism could play its pivotal role.

He also criticised the politically motivated Pakistani media and stressed the media to highlight what Pakistani scientists are doing in their relative institutes.

Hameedullah Afsar, former principal Government Degree College also delivered a Nazm about an electric motor which could help students learn basic concepts about the electric motor and electromagnetism.

Zafar Mohammad Khan, former director of Ionosphere Research department SUPARCO, narrated scientific facts in the form of Nazm.

Shafi Haider Danish, the In-charge of the research and development cell at Pakistan Steel Mills was the chief guest at the event and he appreciated all the scientific literary pieces presented in the sitting.

The president of Bazm-e-Sciency Adab also delivered a note of gratitude to all the participants.

He also raised a question about why science fiction was not a common practice in Urdu literature. He said that this issue will be spoken on in an upcoming sitting of the Bazm.

He also stressed all the universities to start science journalism in their respective Mass Communications department.